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6 personal positives I am taking from lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented situation. Thousands of people are dying. Not only that but the economic aftershock of this will be felt on a very serious level for many years to come – and for many, many people. It’s truly terrible and very frightening. We could let the anxiety of it all eat us alive. Or, we could sit tight with our loved ones, help as much as we can in the community – and try to see the positives in this time. From silly and superficial to deep and meaningful, here are some positives things I am taking from lockdown.

I am realising who I ACTUALLY am rather than trying to be something else

We spend so much time in our cultivated personalities, trying to be the person that we think we ought to, than we don’t often get the chance to be who we actually are deep down. So much of our personality is a construct, created to fit in at work, or within a social group. When this is stripped back we might discover, for example, that actually we are not routine led and organised – what I thought I was – but actually we like to change and adapt and be flexible. Or that we really aren’t fussed about not being able to go out – I’ve not (yet) had a cabin fever feeling about being at home all the time, quite the opposite, it’s a relief to not have to do anything. I know this isn’t the same for all, but what things are you learning about yourself right now – and what can you take from this going forward?

Maybe it’s the sertraline, maybe it’s turning 40, maybe it’s the Coronavirus reminding me of my own mortality, but I just don’t give a f*ck what people think anymore, I’m feeling fearless about just being me.

I’ll be reading *The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck after my current book – as I am loving the creative freedom this is allowing me. Have you read it?

I’ve kind of let myself go feral – and I like it

I lobbed a few inches off my barnet on Day 1. It was wonky so I lobbed bit more off last night. Now I have a frizzy, still quite wonky bob. It’s OK, I quite like it. I wash it and leave it and it’s neither straight nor curly. I like that too.

Did you ever want to go pink, or cut a crazy short fringe? Now’s your time.

My nails are au natural, and, even though I am taking really good care of my skin, I am mostly leaving it bare.

I’m OK about being exactly who I am am, outside and inside.

I have to say, I have finally forced myself out of leggings and fleece, but I am rediscovering all my old clothes that I love and suddenly feel very ‘me’. Check out my latest video on wearing all my old White Stuff clothes for a week.

I’ve been REALLY thinking about my impact on the planet and how we can live more sustainably as a family

Yes, this is a worthy one, but I feel that this whole Covid-19 thing is like earth’s way of telling us to stop. Pause. Take a collective breath. There are theories that it came from intensive animal farming… whatever the reason it’s made me revisit my eco principles that I tossed to one side when I fell poorly with depression 6 months ago. But to reject eco living is to reject ourselves. The planet is us; we are the earth. We aren’t separate. To put our head in the sand is to deny goodness to our own selves and family. Plus it can be fun and rewarding and even frugal to live more greenly.

Stan is back in real nappies. I am going green with my beauty and cleaning stuff. We are going to fly less; staycation more.

Food wise, I am going to get all our meat from the butchers – and eat less of it – plus get fruit and veg without packaging and from a local producer via *a Riverford Organic Veg box (join waiting list and they’ll be in touch if you want to try). Then just do a monthly Tesco shop instead of weekly.

I’ve pretty much quit booze! (Erm, not forever, or entirely…)

I’ve been on and off booze for ages. I love feeling clear headed and free of anxiety. OK, OK, those of you on Insta will know we had a little impromptu party for two at my house last Friday – after a tough day with the homeschooling I hit the eff it button! But before that for a while, and going forward I am booze free. Boy does it make life easier. And I need that right now. I am calmer with the kids, more resilient, sleeping better (apart from when Stanley the sleep thief wakes me up!). Listen, I am NEVER going to judge anyone for being a bit boozy – I was worse than anyone for years – but for me, being mainly booze free apart from a rare knees up from time to time, or a tipsy evening or 5 on holiday, works well. It’s realistic, but I’m always mindful of my own health and happiness. Plus – I save money and don’t have to keep going out to the shops to restock!

If you are interested in cutting back on your booze, check out Over the Influence podcast and also consider doing a *booze free challenge on OYNB – choose from 28, 90 or 365 days!

I pushed the button on stuff I’ve ummed and ahhed over for ages…

As you’ll know if you follow me on Insta, I took the plunge at the start of lockdown and became a Neal’s Yard Consultant! I was wondering about it for ages, as a close friend had become one. I love the products so thought, why not?? I’ll be sharing my fave products and just enjoying this new thread to my business. It’s all natural, sustainable and eco friendly – also it’s beyond divine to use and so relaxing – so it fits with my mood of self-care that I (we ALL) need right now – and I’m thinking my readers and viewers will love it too. Anyone can become a consultant so check out the info on my link if you love it so much you want to sell it yourself. We’d be working together as a team if you do it through me.

The mood I am in right now is CARPE DIEM (!) so I have also restarted my online book club. There has literally never been a better time to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read – keep an eye out for upcoming reads…

I’m getting better at being a calmer, messier, mum

Being together SO MUCH isn’t easy. Adam is working from home and I am looking after the kids, trying to do *some* home learning each day (the photo with this post was literally the only sat round the table learning we managed today). It’s really very apparent what works and what doesn’t work when you are together so much. Feelings are heightened, there’s lots of highs and lows – we have to choose our battles – and apologise a lot! I am working hard on chilling a bit, rolling with things, and being OK with a relaxation on rules, like accepting they now have 2 or 3 times more screentime than usual. My house is messier. I’ve dramatically lowered my standards. And it feels good. It’s completely OK to have a messy house, to not achieve everything on your list that day. Are the kids happy, fed, warm? Are you not quivering in a corner glugging from a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Yes? You did good.

What good things are you taking from this lockdown period?

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